Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cooling Off In The Mountains With Great Views Too



With the launch of LVSportsBiz.com, I have not written on my Bicycle Stories blog for a while.

But this morning's ride at Mt. Charleston involved some major climbing and beautiful views.






It also was much cooler at 8,000 feet than in the Vegas Valley.


A great experience.




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bicyclists, Family, Friends Pay Respects To Kayvan In Vegas' First Ghost Bike Ceremony



Kayvan Khiabani's son said it all at the ghost bike ceremony for his dad a day before Father's Day.

There are no excuses for all the deaths of bicyclists in the Las Vegas area. His words hit home for the hundreds of bicyclists who gathered this morning to pay their respects to Dr. Khiabani, a respected surgeon at UMC who was killed while bicycling near Red Rock Resort about two months ago in Summerlin, a Vegas suburb.

A white ghost bike now stands in memory of Kayvan -- a dad, a husband, a doctor and yes, a guy who loved riding a bicycle.

Bicyclist Pat Treichel, a friend who I am enjoying to know better by the day, put together a group called Ghost Bikes Las Vegas to show that people who have lost their lives on a bicycle are human beings first.

We're brothers and sisters and parents and children and co-workers and your neighbors.

Think of bicyclists not as people on two-wheels but people loved by so many when you motor your car near us.

Pat put together a touching and moving ceremony to honor the memory of Kayvan and his speech before our short ride before he helped erect the white-painted ghost bike the was filled with emotion and common sense and decency and humanity.



And the message Pat brought to us was simple -- we all need to change the way we do our business on the roads that we all share as motorist and bicyclist alike.

He appealed to bicyclists to set the example to be courteous and compliant with our road laws and he spoke to kids to look for folks on two wheels when they're in a car.

Maybe 500 people on bicycles and two legs pedaled and walked the short distance from our meeting point in a suburban shopping district parking lot to the location where a bus killed Kayvan near Red Rock Resort at Pavilion Center Drive and Griffiths Peak Drive.

We pedaled slowly and respectfully -- and it was a powerful and emotionally-binding tour de force.





Pat towed Kayvan's ghost bike, and we ended at the installation site. It was there where the white bike was bolted to a sign post.

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Sadly, Pat and his group have more ghost bikes to install. I will post blog reports when those are scheduled.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ghost Bikes To Make Their Memorial Appearances In Las Vegas Starting Saturday

Bicycling is a joyful, life-affirming activity and it comes in every form, from pedaling tourist and bike commuter to weekend racer and beach-cruising, single-speed recreationist.

Which is exactly why it hurts so much to hear about a bicyclist getting killed by a motorist when only moments before the car struck the bicycle the person on the bike likely was enjoying life for simply pedaling a two-wheeler.

For those left behind, there's the harsh emotional reality of knowing that the fallen bicyclist could have been one of us.

And we memorialize those who lost their lives on bicycles though white-painted Ghost Bikes, two-wheel memorial markers installed at the location where a bicyclist was killed.


On Saturday, the Las Vegas area will see our first ghost bike -- a memorial to remember the life of bicyclist Dr. Kayvan Khiabani, a 51-year-old surgeon at University Medical Center. who was killed near Red Rock Resort and Pavilion Center Drive about two months ago.

More than 400 bicyclists are expected to slowly pedal around Downtown Summerlin starting at 7 a.m., with speeches and a ceremony capping the ghost bike event at 8:30 a.m. when the ghost bike is installed.

Regrettably, there are more ghost bikes to install in the Las Vegas area. Pat Treichel, a Las Vegas bicyclist, has organized a Vegas ghost bike contingent committed to installing ghost bikes at locations around the valley wherever a cyclist was mortally wounded by someone driving a motorized vehicle.

The ghost bikes are a stark reminder that bicyclists lead a vulnerable life on our roadways. In Tampa, I was involved in helping install three ghost bikes to remember the lives of LeRoy Collins, Diane Vega and Robert Niedbalec -- bicyclists killed on the streets of Tampa. Their ghost bikes are below.




Here's my challenge: I know a lot of bicyclists will be attending Saturday morning's ghost bike event in Downtown Summerlin -- but we need non-bicyclists to attend, join and show their support that even though they may not ride a bicycle they stand for bicyclists riding our roads without being killed.

I type these words only because I survived a violent crash caused by a distracted motorist who smashed into me from behind while I cycled on a two-lane road in Florida on March 7.

I am lucky and grateful.

I lived and I will ride Saturday morning in Downtown Summerlin to remember Dr. Khiabani.

And I hope you join us.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Home Is Where The Land Is



As I pedaled through the federal Red Rock conservation area, my senses were filled with the details of the desert flora.

There is no more intense connection for human beings in an environment than the connection between person and landscape.

It's the place where my soul is nourished and where are hills are conquered by bicycle by merely gazing at the land.



Beaches and the ocean are lovely too. And the sounds of waves crashing along coastlines can be hypnotic.

But I found the high desert and mountains outside Las Vegas addictive because of their colors, contours and shapes.


I think I'll be sticking around for awhile.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Knocked Down But Not Knocked Out

On the days after a car slammed into me while I bicycled in Florida and left me on my back with a cervical neck brace, I made a vow 2 1/2 months ago while I recovered at my Vero Beach house.

I will return to Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas and climb to its high point at 4,771 feet and I will gaze with wonder at the Big Red Stripe crossing the rocky terrain.

So today, with Vero Beach and Florida in the rear-view mirror, I pedaled through Summerlin and then to Red Rock Canyon and turned onto the 13-mile federal loop that I pedaled so many times when I lived here.

As I pedaled each stroke and stared at the landscape, a wave of gratitude washed over me.

I was lucky to be soaking up this moment around 8 a.m. today.


I reached the overlook at 4,771 feet, some 2,500 feet from where I started today and took a seat at the parking lot bench.

I promised myself that my first post-crash photo on a bicycle would be right here -- at the high point.


There were some tears, reflecting back on being knocked down and coming close to being another Florida bicyclist fatality.

And I was thankful for my recovery that was fueled by so many kind friends who offered everything from food packages and heartfelt messages in cards to donations and visits.

You got me back on the mountain under the Big Stripe and I will always be thankful.


My plans in Las Vegas are to launch my sports-business website called, "LVSportsBiz.com." and also work on the campaign team to get Jared Fisher elected as Nevada's next governor in 2018.

It's an exciting time for the Las Vegas sports-business industry with a new football stadium for the Raiders and UNLV; the maiden season of the Vegas Golden Knights and NASCAR launching a second annual race next year. If you would like to advertise on LVSportsBiz.com, please contact me at asnel@lvsportsbiz.com

I had a feeling that I would meet someone I knew along this morning's ride.

And lo and behold, it was Heather Fisher -- who is marred to Jared Fisher, my friend who is running for governor.

It's going to be a great return ot Las Vegas.

I'm getting back to the place I love.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Escape From Florida



Dear Rick Scott,

I'm leaving your state.

There are several reasons.

Chief among them: your state is a killer state for bicyclists.

Florida has the highest number of bicyclist deaths in the U.S. and you don't care. You have showed no political leadership to try and reduce that number and the fact is you and the political leaders just don't care enough to do anything about keeping bicyclists alive in your state. A former state legislator who is the ex-mayor of Kissimmee, Frank Attkisson, even was killed while riding a bicycle in St. Cloud in early April and the state Legislature was not moved to toughen the penalties for drivers who kill bicyclists.  

On March 7, I nearly joined the long list of bicyclists killed by motorists in Florida.

But I survived, and for that I am grateful.

I survived a motorist who smashed into me from behind (he claimed he never saw me) while I pedaled in north St. Lucie County outside Fort Pierce.

And with that memory in mind, I rode a memorial bike ride called the Ride of Silence Saturday in Vero Beach. Many towns around the world held similar bike rides Wednesday to draw attention to and memorialize the lives of bicyclists snuffed out by people who drive motorized vehicles.

Here in Vero Beach, about half way between Orlando and South Florida on the Atlantic coast, I joined 50 other bicyclists to remember those who have lost their lives in Vero Beach and Indian River County.


The local bike club has a large membership for a relatively small city such as Vero Beach (population 16,000). And an advocacy group called Bike Walk Indian River County lobbies county officials to improve road conditions for bicyclists.

It's an impressive display of sweat equity to lean on local officials to make it safer for bicyclists.

But Rick Scott and his Department of Cars are good at lip service about bicycling but don't deliver the goods.

Florida treats the high number of bicyclist deaths as collateral damage of a modern road society, just business as usual in the sandbar state.


Bye Florida. Happiness is getting out of your state alive.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jared Will Be Listening To Nevada With 2 GoPros, 1 Drone, 1 Regular Camera and 1 Bum Knee

Jared Fisher, a Las Vegas businessman running for Nevada governor, twisted his knee Friday while running around on his many errands.

So, when he was on his Specialized Fuse mountain bike Saturday getting ready for his 14-day, 1,400-mile "Listening Tour" ride to launch his campaign, his knee was a little balky while riding in the high desert outside his house in Blue Diamond.

"I was riding around here warming up to check for problems with my bike," said Fisher 47, who owns the 10,000-square-foot Las Vegas Cyclery bike shop. My knee was starting to be in pain and that's not a good sign when you're getting ready for a big bike trip."

But of you know Jared, a bum knee won't stop him from pedaling off from his Blue Diamond house at 2 a.m. Monday to bike around the state of Nevada to hear what people have to stay.



Jared will be ready to document residents from Pioche and Ely to Reno to Beatty and everywhere in between in Nevada. He'll be wearing the world's biggest backpack while pedaling and carrying a tent, sleeping bag, back pad, his business supplies and drone all in that "grand monster backpack," as he calls it.

"I have a lot of stuff in that backpark," Jared said as he stopped for gas on the way to work Saturday morning.

He'll also be bringing two GoPro cameras, the drone and a regular camera, with the drone serving as the energy source for the bevy of batteries he will bring.

He's been already chatting with local residents in Las Vegas about his run for governor and noted that a lot of people are tired of the extremists on both the left and right drawing all the attention.

"I'm finding out that most people I talk with are not hard left or hard right," Jared said.

"We don't have to hate each other,: he said. In real life, most people are good and down-to-earth and they just want to be heard. The voice of the people are not being heard and the extreme party left and right are calling all the shots for the rest of the people in America and what I'm hearing is their voices are not being heard."

To follow Jared's epic bike ride, click here for the first 500 miles.